Review by Callum Stott.
...both dramatic in its storytelling, whilst also being incredibly enjoyable with the many Whitney Houston numbers sprinkled throughout the show.
The Bodyguard arrives at Edinburgh Playhouse with a strong leading performance by Melody Thornton as Rachel Marron. The show is both a faithful retelling of the movie on stage, as well as celebrating Whitney Houston’s music legacy including songs like, I Will Always Love You, and Queen of the Night.
Performed in London for several years, and now going on its third UK tour, full houses still await this show wherever it goes thanks to its familiar story and incredible music score. The show explores the unseen lives of celebrities and the good and bad that come with this. The Bodyguard is not just your standard jukebox show and it has a real dramatic edge to it. It is a well-written musical about a fan trying to claim singer, Rachel Marron for himself, and he will go to any length to be with Rachel. A bodyguard is then hired to make sure Rachel and her family are safe and, in the process, she falls in love with him. The Bodyguard is both dramatic in its storytelling, whilst also being incredibly enjoyable thanks to the many Whitney Houston numbers sprinkled throughout the show.
Melody Thornton really shows her vocal abilities in this role. Being an internationally successful popstar with the band, Pussycat Dolls, you expect some great vocals, and you are not disappointed. Although her acting feels slightly inferior to some of the more theatrically trained cast members, she still delivers a great all-round performance. The show has gone through a trend of hiring pop stars for roles and I totally understand why this is a good approach. Melody has lived the pop star life and can relate to the pressures of being a star.
Ayden Callaghan as Bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is a consistently good performer. His acting was strong and embodied the character well. Emily-Mae as Nicki Maron is a great performer; you can see her theatrical experience shine through in the role. The ensemble was all very talented and added to the energy of the production.
Set design for this show is really strong with great use of visuals throughout to amplify the story. Usually, we see screens as a way for shows to save money instead of expensive sets, but this production has both visuals and impressive scenery. Also, the use of fire and other special effects really add to the drama and the grandness of the show.
Overall, The Bodyguard is a true celebration of the legacy of Whitney Houston. A brilliant mix of a dramatic story, whilst being a great night out for nostalgic audiences.